The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has announced that the U.S. Congress has included funding for a $5 million open textbook grant program in its FY18 appropriations bill. The bill, signed into law on March 23, 2018, is Congress’s first funding for open textbooks:
The $5 million will be awarded as competitive grants to institutions of higher education through the U.S. Department of Education. Open textbooks created under the bill will be released under a permissive open license, ensuring everyone can freely use, share and build upon the content.
Providing this funding for open textbooks is the most significant action Congress has taken in support of OER to date, and builds on a strong track record of state-level programs. States including Georgia and North Dakota have funded open textbook grant programs that have ultimately saved students more than ten times the amount invested. As such, the $5 million Congress included in the FY18 bill could save students $50 million or more.
The post details SPARC’s advocacy efforts in open educational resources.